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March 2, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 7:59am

All flash arrays, IBM, EMC and Hitachi are the big beasts who were first out of the blocks with new all flash products in 2016

List: This is the year of all flash primary storage so expect more product announcements within the coming days and weeks – here is a list of the biggest product and market announcements already in 2016 from the industry giants and those carving a space.

By Joao Lima

The all-flash storage market has been dominated by big players including EMC, IBM, NetApp and Hitachi. With all flash arrays gaining market acceptance and share both the big guys those smaller players who are still around are getting pumped up.

According to IDC and Hitachi, the all-flash storage market is poised for a CAGR of 58.5% this year, where worldwide enterprise all-solid state storage spending is expected to reach $1.6bn, up from $300m in 2012. Shipped capacity is predicted to increase to 611PB (2012: 31PB), with a 2012-2016 CAGR of 110.8%.

The increase in adoption rates is due to falling price. Between 2012 and 2016 solid state storage arrays’ prices fell at a CAGR of -28.7%, from $11.12/GB to a forecasted $2.88/GB in 2016.




EMC, which this week saw the EU’s approval to be acquired by Dell by $67bn, has declared 2016 as "the year of all-flash", and to sustain that thought, the company has launched two products in this space.

First, the VMAX All Flash enterprise data services platform, and secondly the EMC DSSD D5 Rack-Scale Flash solution.

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EMC claims VMAX All Flash to be the first-to-market all-flash storage array to natively support block, file, open systems and mainframe with the ability to scale up to four PB of data.

The EMC DSSD D5 has been designed for the most data-intensive applications, both traditional and next-generation, which require extreme levels of performance and the lowest possible latency.

The VMAX array comes in two all-flash models, the EMC VMAX 450 and EMC VMAX 850.

The company said DSSD D5 delivers ultra-dense, high-performance, highly available and very low latency shared flash storage for up to 48 redundant connected servers. D5 is connected to each node through PCIe Gen3 and uses NVMe technology.

Latency is 100 microseconds, throughput 100 GB/s, and IOPS 10 million in a 5U system.



Earlier in the year, Hitachi also introduced a new family of all flash arrays, the A series, available in three different models.

The series have been designed aimed at customers use cases around virtual desktop, virtual server real-time analytics and database environments.

Hitachi Flash Storage A series systems include a suite of user-selectable data services that enable capacity efficiency, data protection and predictable performance for a variety of workloads, according to the company.

Advanced features and selectable data services include inline data deduplication and compression, thin provisioning, snapshots, replication and data encryption.

The HFS A series includes a pair of high-performance controllers and up to 60 SSDs in a single 2U-high tray, with up to 384TB of capacity and 1 million IOPS.

Hitachi said customers can consolidate multiple applications to reduce data centre footprint while "alleviating management headaches".




Flash-driven storage arrays provider Tegile has expanded its flash-storage array, IntelliFlash HD worldwide.

The company said enterprises can now buy the service via its global channel partner and claimed IntelliFlash HD to be the industry’s first flash storage platform that brings hyperscale performance and economics to enterprise data centres.

Tegile said IntelliFlash is primarily aimed at large enterprise companies that are pursuing data centre consolidation. It has also been designed for latency-sensitive applications and workloads such as large data warehouses, analytic applications, big data processing, image processing, and large private clouds that require economical performance acceleration.

According to the provider, the service delivers up to 5 million Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 10PB of effective capacity in a single rack at under 50 cents per effective GB.

IntelliFlash HD is anchored by the Tegile IntelliFlash OS, which powers Tegile’s portfolio of all-flash and hybrid arrays. IntelliFlash OS combines several architectural innovations in flash management, data persistence and data management.

The company also said that future versions of IntelliFlash HD will have both scale up and scale out controllers for sustained low-latency and performance at high scale.



SanDisk, IBM

Flash storage solutions provider SanDisk and IBM have come together to collaborate on the development of a next-generation, software-defined, all-flash storage solution for the data centre that combines an all-flash storage array with a software-defined storage software.

The companies’ joint product, yet to be named, will use SanDisk’s InfiniFlash System, a high-capacity and extreme-performance flash-based software defined storage system featuring IBM Spectrum Scale filesystem from IBM.

According to the companies, the joint solution of software-defined all-flash storage addresses the escalating data centre challenges of scale, performance, agility and break-through economics.

The InfiniFlash for IBM Spectrum Scale Solution is a scale-out, ultra-dense system combined with IBM Spectrum Scale and allows private, hybrid and public cloud customers to enable Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) by starting small and growing to multiple petabytes.

SanDisk InfiniFlash can reach 5x the density, 50x the performance and 4x the reliability, while consuming 80% less power than traditional hard disk drive (HDD) based arrays starting at less than $1 per gigabyte (GB) for an all-flash system before the additional effects of compression or de-duplication technologies are considered.

IBM Spectrum Scale is a software-defined, distributed, parallel filesystem, for high performance, large scale workloads on-premises or in the cloud.




Nimble has unveiled the Nimble AF-Series All Flash arrays, as part of its Predictive All Flash arrays portfolio.

The company claims that the new product lets enterprise IT organisations with a single consolidation architecture to accelerate, protect and scale all enterprise applications and deliver data velocity to end users.

Part of the AF-series is the Nimble AF9000 All Flash array with a performance of up to 350,000 IOPS at sub-millisecond latency and a scales capacity to over 2PB in 12UIn scale-out four-node cluster configurations, the AF9000 can non-disruptively and independently scale performance up to 1.2M IOPS and effective capacity to over 8PBs, an order of magnitude greater than competitive all flash arrays.

The new series are powered by Samsung 3D V-NAND-based Solid-State drives (SSDs).

Nimble has also added further predicative capabilities to its Predictive Flash platform by combining flash performance through the Unified Flash Fabric consolidation architecture with InfoSight Predictive Analytics to deliver data velocity.

According to the company, the Nimble Unified Flash Fabric enables flash for all enterprise applications by unifying All Flash and Adaptive Flash arrays into a single consolidation architecture with common data services.

InfoSight Predictive Analytics predicts and prevents these issues by providing visibility across the entire application-to-storage stack.



All flash array vendor Kaminario has also expanded its storage reach, not with the introduction of a new product but with the spreading out of its Accelerate partner program into the EMEA region.

The company said 100% of its businesses in EMEA will be conducted through channel partners.

Kaminario‘s CEO said that the company is working towards being a 100% channel go-to-market model globally.

Accelerate enables businesses globally to adopt, implement and manage Kaminario’s products. The program also includes consulting to help technology resellers craft business strategies around the all-flash data centre.

The expansion into EMEA has come after the company’s last summer launch of K2 v5.5, and all flash storage array.

Kaminario said that K2 drops the average cost/GB usable to less than $1/GB and introduces deployment of 3D TLC drives. The system also includes native array-based replication and the company’s Perpetual Array program.

With this, customers can phase in new hardware and phase out old to deliver on the evolving needs of enterprise storage.



Violin Memory

Supplier Violin Memory, has launched two Starter Kits aimed at enterprise data centre customers that feature its Flash Storage Platform (FSP) 7700.

First, the Scalable Starter Kit enables customers to start their all-flash data centre with 70 TB of raw capacity.

When more space is needed, additional arrays can be added as storage shelves up to a maximum of 1.4 PB raw capacity.

The Violin Scalable Starter Kit includes two FSP 7700 Modular Scalable Array Controllers, two switches, two all-flash arrays with a total 70 TB of raw flash capacity (35 TB per shelf), and Concerto OS 7 and Symphony Management Software.

Secondly, the company has introduced the Stretch Cluster Starter Kit, for users to implement an all flash stretch cluster for data protection that allows automated recovery for all critical applications, business data and services.

According to the company, the FSP 7700 is fully-integrated with Violin’s Concerto OS 7 to deliver enterprise data services.

The Stretch Cluster Starter Kit includes the same components as the first kit, however, instead of two switches, it provides four.

The company said that both kits enable enterprises to take advantage of an all-flash array on a small scale and grow, over time, up to 2+ million IOPS and 1.4 PB raw capacity in a single namespace.


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